So you're working on big budget summer blockbuster right? Of course you are that's why you're reading this. By now should have some high polish footage and you're ready to give people a taste of what you can expect. I'm here to make sure you adhere to the tried and true formula that will get you the asses in the seats your movie deserves. I'm talking of course about your trailer.
Boy doesn't that just spice up the drama? Go ahead and fire that up a few more times to get in the mood, I'll wait.
Really made this way more interesting didn't it? That brings me to the first thing to do in a trailer.
Throw Subtlety Out the Window
One thing a movie trailer should never be is subtle. Your trailer should be as subtle as a Michael Bay Transformer's showdown with gratuitous slow mo and loud as hell booms. Don't be afraid to show everything to your audience show the villain, show the plot twist why don't you, hell the trailer should basically tell them the entire movie in a condensed action packed thrill ride. The subtlety (or lack there of) needs to apply to the music you put in the trailer too, don't believe me, then listen to this, the audio from Avengers Age of Ultron and tell me what's subtle about this?
The sound in your movie shouldn't be quiet or in the background it needs to be IN YOUR FREAKING FACE AND EXPLODING YOUR EARDRUMS!!! And forget about keeping anything hidden in your trailer show it all so the audience knows every facet of this movie beforehand because who gives a f*** about spoilers? Take a look at Terminator Genesys' trailer that throws spoilers out the window. By the way avoid if you don't want the movie spoiled.
YEAH that's how you do a trailer, just told me the big twist in the movie right out the gate now audiences are TOTALLY GOING to see it I smell money.
Okay let's back up, let's say you have maybe three whole shots done in the movie, because...reasons, you want to get the audience talking about the movie but you don't have anything. That's okay, that's what the Teaser is for. Just follow Zack Snider's example with the Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice teaser.
Show's very little, just some random shots and people looking at things and maybe about 2 seconds worth of a (probably) unfinished action set piece plus the buildup to a battle we all guessed was coming because of the title. You saw very little of really anything, just people talking and like 3 whole shots of anything really cool. The point is, you want to get the rabid masses on your side early on. It's flawless no one ever judges a movie based on the teaser, everyone's excited for a teaser am I right people? Aren't you pumped and flipping out over Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice?
Monologues & Pointless Scenes
A film trailer is incomplete without talking, especially a super hero teaser. Prime example? See Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice trailer and pay attention, nearly all of the audio, (besides the BWAAAAHS!!) is people talking because audiences LOVE hearing about nods to things that'll happen that you can't show in the trailer because you haven't filmed it yet. Another thing you can do when you don't have all the cool footage yet is to populate your trailer with random things that hold very little significance to the overall movie. Take the upcoming Fantastic Four Teaser below for examples of both of these.
And Lastly, Don't be this guy...
Don't be whoever made this trailer for a number of reasons because they refuse to adhere to the code. In several ways, let's look at Godzilla 2014 this is a trailer travesty. Spoiler in the passage below if you didn't see the actual film
Why is this a tragedy? Because they hid the fact that there are multiple monsters in the film!! Why would they hide this from the audience!? This is trailer gold and will get more people invested? Do they think inserting fake scenes in the trailer will make audiences more interested? HELL NO! They were being subtle and where was the thunderous music!? No wonder this movie bombed.
So in conclusion do everything I said above and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FROM the Godzilla trailer or your movie will DIE! Now go out there and make me some goddamn money and I'll see you next week for phase 2.